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Caravaggio in Rome

Where to See Caravaggio's Art in Rome


Michelangelo Merisi, the man who would become the famed but troubled artist Caravaggio, worked extensively in Rome. Some of Caravaggio's most famous paintings - which are, in turn, some of the best known paintings from the Baroque Art period - decorate Rome's churches or are located in the city's galleries. Following are the places in Rome where you can spot masterpieces by the "Bad Boy of the Baroque."

San Luigi dei Francesi

The best place to find Caravaggios in Rome is in the small church of San Luigi dei Francesi near Piazza Navona. Inside in the Contarelli Chapel you can see the master's "Saint Matthew" cycle: "The Calling of Saint Matthew,"  "Inspiration of Saint Matthew," and "The Martyrdom of Saint Matthew." Entrance to the church is free, though it will cost you a few euros to activate the lights to view the paintings.

Borghese Museum

The Borghese Museum contains almost one dozen Caravaggio paintings. Some of the more famous are "Boy with a Basket of Fruit," "David with the Head of Goliath," and Caravaggio's portrait of Pope Paul V.

Capitoline Museums

The Capitoline Museums contain two paintings by Caravaggio. "The Fortune Teller" is a painting that Caravaggio executed twice. The one in the Capitoline is the first version while the second version is in the Louvre in Paris. Caravaggio's "John the Baptist (With a Ram)" is also located in the Capitoline Museums.

Santa Maria del Popolo

The Cerasi Chapel in Santa Maria del Popolo, the unassuming church on the north side of Piazza del Popolo, is where to go for a free Caravaggio fix. The chapel contains two paintings: "Conversion of Saint Paul on the Road to Damascus" and the very famous "Crucifixion of Saint Peter."

Vatican Museums

Caravaggio's work "The Entombment of Christ" is located in the Vatican Museums. As it is located in the Vatican Museums' Pinacoteca, it is often overlooked as visitors rush through to get to the Sistine Chapel. But this well-known, emotive work is worth seeking out.

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